News from the City Government


After Historic Citywide Reappraisal Process, 94% of Detroit Residents to See Less Than 10% Change in 2017 Assessments

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  • For the first time in 60 years, every residential property has been assessed based on a parcel-by-parcel review and two years’ worth of actual sales data
  • 140K tax bills to see reductions averaging $263
  • 112K tax bills to see increases averaging $80

Detroit, Michigan – After completing its first citywide parcel-by-parcel reappraisal in 60 years, the City of Detroit is preparing to send out its annual notice of property assessment change to nearly 255,000 residential property owners.  The massive three-year reappraisal project, which was launched three years ago to provide a more accurate look at the city’s property values, shows that 94% will see a change of less than 10% (up or down) in their assessed value:

  • 53% will see assessment reductions of 10% or less.  
  • 41% will see assessment increases of 10% or less.
  • The remaining 6% of properties will see larger adjustments, due largely to the specific information that was able to be obtained by the parcel-by-parcel review.


The Assessor’s Office expects to start mailing out the 2017 Notice of Proposed Assessment Change forms later this week. Mayor Duggan said that this year’s assessments are the most reliable they have been in decades because of their thoroughness. 

“Fair assessments are one of the keys to keeping families in their homes,” said Mayor Duggan.  “Over the past few years we’ve done a lot to address the high assessments many residents faced.  These new numbers show we’ve done a pretty accurate job of assessing the value of our properties with the information available at the time.”

The City of Detroit is still completing the process of re-appraisal of the city’s roughly 143,000 commercial and industrial parcels.   


The comprehensive reappraisal process included:


  • High resolution aerial imagery for every parcel for determining lot and structure size
  • Digitizing archival sketches of each parcel and comparing them with aerial imagery to ensure accuracy
  • High resolution multi-angle street level imagery of every parcel to determine the construction style and condition.
  • Field visits of approximately 11,000 residential properties determined to be unique in their construction or for which assessors needed additional information based on the results of the digital imagery.

The new assessments also are based on actual property sales data from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2016.  The breakdown of proposed assessment changes for 2017 are as follows:


% Reduction

No. of Parcels

% of Total

Less than 10%






50% or more




% Increase

No. of Parcels

% of Total

Less than 10%



10% -49%



50% or more  









ECF Assessment District

Impact on tax bills

This year’s assessments show that more residential property owners will see lower taxes on average than those who will see an increase, as a result of this year’s proposed assessments.   Approximately 140,000 will see reductions in their taxes averaging $263, while 112,000 will see increases that average approximately $80.  The amounts for each will vary significantly since each property, unlike in past years, was individually assessed. 

Increased fairness = increased revenue

CFO John Hill said that bringing more fairness to the property tax system in Detroit has led to more residents paying their property taxes.  Collections have increased steadily from about 68% in 2012-14 to 79% in 2015 and a projected 82% in 2016.  From 2015 to 2016 alone, property tax collections increased approximately $8 million.

“With many people seeing large assessment reductions, we expect to see an increase in the number of homeowners who pay their full taxes,” said Hill.  “In the near term, we expect this move to keep more taxpaying residents in the city.  In the long term, we believe it will help to bring in more new homeowners and help to start growing our residential tax base.”  

What’s Next

By the end of January, residents will receive their new notice of proposed assessment.  Residents should note that this is not a tax bill.   If they still choose to appeal their assessment, the City of Detroit Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Assessor will begin the annual Assessors Review appeal process, which allows property owners to challenge their 2017 property values.  The appeal process will begin Wednesday, January 25, through Saturday, Feb. 18 in Room 804 of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tax bills will be mailed in June and payments are due by Aug. 31. 

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